Tuesday, March 16, 2010, AM | 2 Comments
If you think nothing, you are right. Who knows where our federal tax dollars go? The federal government collects taxes in order to finance various public services.
“I don’t see no money being spent in my neighborhood.” Well, you might not see it, but it is being spent on something.
That may be apparent to us all or may be hidden. The government is supposedly run by the elected and not-so-elected officials, so we have no choice but to trust them.
What else can we do? Ain’t much we can do about it once folks are elected.
We are led to believe that the majority of the tax dollars go to five different entities that we might not be able to live without, in some cases literally. In fiscal year 2008, the federal government spent $3 trillion, amounting to 21 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
That would make the GDP close to $14.3 trillion. More than $2.5 trillion was financed by federal tax revenues and $459 billion was financed by borrowing, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Any government is supposed to provide for two basic necessities of its citizens: protection to its internationally recognized borders and economic well-being of its citizen within those boundaries.
The 5 major expenses are a total of 80% of the $3 trillion = $2.4 trillion. The rest $600 billion is spent on other things, like education, transportation, and veterans’ programs, etc. The approximate figures given are for 2008 budget.
Defense and international security (21%)
Close to $625 billion went to pay for defense and security-related national and international activities.
Social Security (20.56%)
Nearly $617 billion went to Social Security, which provided retirement benefits averaging $1,041 per month to 35 million retired workers (and their eligible dependents) in September 2008.
Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP (20%)
Close to $600 billion went to three health insurance programs – Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Safety net programs (10.4%)
Approximately $313 billion supported programs that provide help – other than the three health insurance programs or Social Security benefits – to individuals and families facing hardship.
Interest on the national debt (8%+)
$253 billion was swallowed by interest on the national debt.
In a Nutshell
Now you know where the bulk of our tax dollars went in 2008. If you think about it, those 5 groups are the essential expenses for the government to spend and for the American people to supposedly receive. There are always black holes that some money gets disappeared and never to see the light of the American public, but no man-made system in existence is perfect.